A while ago, BYOD was a hot topic, and although it mostly fallen off the radar, it is now being replaced with BYOx or Bring Your Own Anything. In particular, this is referring to wearable devices which need Internet access and bring some new issues to network administrators, says MARTIN WALSHAW.
There was a period a couple of years ago when it seemed that every other article you read mentioned Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Now it seems to have largely fallen off the radar, replaced by Bring Your Own Anything (BYOx) and has become an accepted part of the IT landscape under the wider heading of ‘mobility’.
But this doesn’t mean that BYOD has gone away. Far from it. Even if it’s not the hot topic, all devices that want access to enterprise networks or applications need to be tracked and secured according to the policies that have been put in place – this has become standard practice for businesses. On the horizon though is a new wave of BYOD, coming in all shapes and sizes, with wearable tech.
As consumer tech businesses scramble to create the next big thing, there is no doubt that we’ll start to see these having an impact on corporate resources. Some of these devices will have more of an impact than others: a fitness tracking wearable might eat up a little bit of bandwidth on Wi-Fi but an interactive and immersive device (for example, Google Glass) that is demanding access to files and broader Internet connectivity may start to bump up against firewall and access control issues. With wearables predicted to be a huge growth market, it’s a matter of when, not if, this will happen.
Unlike BYOD though, we’re aware of the impending issues. While smartphones, tablets and the like were dismissed as something of a fad, most businesses have learned their lessons and are better prepared to react to developments. What’s more, the professional use cases are more easily recognised (think wearable cameras for the police or head-mounted displays for surgeons), meaning there will be a greater readiness in some quarters to adopt the technology.
This greater awareness and willingness to embrace wearable technology puts most businesses in a position to prepare themselves adequately for the changing ways in which employees will be using technology in years to come. And as forewarned is forearmed, there should be no excuse for businesses to be unprepared for the impact of the new wave of BYOD. Here are a few thoughts on how to prepare your business for wearable tech:
· Make sure that your applications are protected – no matter what devices are connecting to the network; if you protect data at the application level you should be in good stead
· Plan for an influx of devices and the impact they will have on capacity and bandwidth
· If staff will be using wearables for business purposes, prepare guidance on the applications and acceptable use
· It’s crucial that your company maintains control over who has access to your network and data. Understanding who is accessing, where from and on what device will allow this level of control
Technology and processes can support businesses through the changing flow of data brought on by wearable technology, but businesses must also remember the people factor, and to communicate any BYOD policy. This will ensure that employees and processes are aligned and that business data is accessed within company policy, regardless of the shift in end-user technology.
* Martin Walshaw, senior engineer at F5 Networks.
* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA
Dell ups the ante for Data Centre
At Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas this week, the focus fell heavily on advances in data storage and digital transformation.
Dell Technologies this week launched several new Dell EMC storage and server products designed to power up the Modern Data Centre, addressing a wide range of traditional and emerging data centre workloads to help customers drive better business outcomes.
The products were launched at Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas, at a time when organisations race to capitalise on the benefits of emerging technologies ahead of their competitors. According to a recent ESG global survey commissioned by Dell EMC and Intel of 4,000 IT decision-makers, 81% agree if they do not embrace IT Transformation, their organisations no longer will be competitive in their markets.
“The Modern Data Centre is the proving ground for our customers to gain a digital advantage over their competition and achieve better business outcomes,” said Jeff Clarke, Dell vice chairman for products and operations. “Dell EMC is delivering the Modern Data Centre innovations that our customers require, with new solutions that are engineered using future-proof technology to take on the data centre challenges of today and to support the next big thing that our customers are imagining for tomorrow.”
Dell provided the following information on new products and services:
Dell EMC PowerMax
Dell EMC’s PowerMax, the future of enterprise-class storage, is architected with end-to- end NVMe and a built-in, real-time machine learning engine. Building on the legendary architecture and capabilities of Dell EMC’s flagship storage system, PowerMax is the world’s fastest storage array, delivering up to 10M IOPS and 50% better response times – 2x faster than the nearest competitor.
Architected with end-to-end NVMe to support NVMe-over-Fabrics and high-speed, low- latency Storage Class Memory (SCM), PowerMax is not only fast, smart and efficient, but also engineered to handle the world’s most demanding application workloads.
In addition, the PowerMax OS includes a machine learning engine, which makes autonomous storage a reality, leveraging predictive analytics and pattern recognition to maximize performance with no management overhead. Built-in machine learning is the only cost-effective way to leverage SCM. Dell EMC is also the only company that can provide this level of storage software intelligence – currently analyzing 425 billion data sets in real time across its high-end All-Flash customer base.
PowerMax also includes inline deduplication and enhanced compression providing up to 5:1 data reduction, while delivering industry-leading security, protection and resiliency. It achieves greater than “six nines” availability to help ensure zero downtime of business-critical applications.
Storage solutions are increasingly being consumed within converged infrastructure, namely the Dell EMC VxBlock System 1000. As the industry’s leading provider of converged infrastructure systems, Dell EMC offers expanded options for VxBlock 1000 customers who can benefit from fast, smart and efficient storage with new support for PowerMax with end-to-end NVMe and XtremIO X2 All-Flash arrays. This means that the VxBlock system breaks the physical boundaries of traditional CI and offers enterprises even greater simplicity and flexibility to help accelerate their IT and digital transformation efforts.
To speed implementation of PowerMax or VxBlock in their environment, customers can take advantage of Dell EMC ProDeploy Plus services for up to 66% faster deployment and up to 49% fewer technical support calls. Customers can also choose ProSupport Plus for consistent best-in-class support delivered across their environment and up to 75% faster service request response time.
Dell EMC XtremIO Replication
XtremIO X2 All-Flash arrays gain major updates with the new XIOS 6.1 operating system, including delivering the industry’s most efficient replication across a wide area network (WAN). X2 metadata-aware native replication is highly efficient and provides an added level of data protection for application workloads. XtremIO replication sends only unique data to the remote site to minimize bandwidth requirements by 75% or more, enabling potential network cost savings. XtremIO replication requires up to 38% less storage space15 at disaster recovery sites and operates with predictable performance to achieve recovery point objectives of 30 seconds.
Dell Technologies also introduced a new Dell EMC X2 entry model for customers, at up to 55% lower cost than the previous generation. Designed with XtremIO’s unique metadata-centric architecture with full data services including inline data reduction (in-memory space-efficient copies, deduplication and compression), XtremIO can also achieve over “five nines” availability, offering customers enterprise-grade capabilities that start at midrange prices.
Dell EMC PowerEdge MX
Dell EMC will preview PowerEdge MX, a new modular infrastructure solution for the modern data centre. Designed with Dell EMC’s kinetic infrastructure, PowerEdge MX will enable customers to flexibly configure and optimise their IT infrastructure for new and emerging workloads.
Available in the second half of 2018, PowerEdge MX will bring new levels of flexibility to IT, ideal for dense virtualisation, software-defined storage and networking, network functions virtualisation (NFV) and big data analytic environments.
Dell EMC’s Modern Data Centre solutions PowerMax and XtremIO X2 with native replication, as well as VxBlock System 1000 with XtremIO X2, are available now. VxBlock System 1000 with PowerMax support will launch mid-year. Dell EMC PowerEdge MX has planned global availability for the second half of 2018.
MediaTek and Microsoft join forces for Azure chip
MediaTek has announced a collaboration with Microsoft to deliver the first Azure Sphere chip, the MT3620, designed to drive IoT with built-in security and connectivity.
Azure Sphere is a solution for creating highly-secured, connected devices powered by a Microcontroller Unit (MCU).
MediaTek and Microsoft have worked together to develop a specialised chipset with a Wi-Fi connected controller built around a processor designed to run Azure Sphere’s IoT operating system. It also includes built-in support for Microsoft’s latest security protocols. These chipsets will be sold as part of the Azure Sphere solution, enabling customers across a broad set of industries to connect MCU-powered products and devices.
“MediaTek has a long history of working with Microsoft on specific SoC designs that meet demanding connectivity needs,” said Jerry Yu, MediaTek corporate vice president and general manager of the Intelligent Devices Business Group. “On top of our close ties with Microsoft and design expertise, Microsoft had a vision we also believed in. Bringing trust and security into IoT solutions from chip to cloud, to make connected devices practical to sell and manage for businesses and consumers.”
Significant drops in the cost of connectivity mean that billions of MCU-powered devices, from household appliances and health monitors to children’s toys and industrial equipment, will be connected. With more points of connectivity come more points of possible vulnerability, which mean companies and individuals will only take advantage of convenient connected devices if they believe their devices, data and cloud are secure.
“Today, computing is more powerful and ubiquitous from the cloud to the edge. In the next decade we’ll see the democratization of connectivity to billions of devices,” said Galen Hunt, managing director of Azure Sphere at Microsoft.
“Azure Sphere brings together the best of Microsoft’s expertise in cloud, software, and silicon— resulting in a unique approach to security that starts in the silicon and extends to the cloud. MediaTek has worked in close collaboration with us on the silicon aspect of our solution, and we are pleased to share in this announcement of the MT3620, the first Azure Sphere certified chip. What we are delivering together will be the foundation for a new generation of secure intelligent edge devices and solutions.”
MediaTek is currently sampling chips with lead customers and will have broad product availability by Q3 of 2018. For details visit MediaTek’s solution.